Santa, if you have room in your bag . . .

The clock is ticking and I’m minding my P’s and Q’s . . . because we all know Santa is watching. We’re in those final hours where I have been told he is firming up who ends up on the nice list and who goes down to the naughty list.

So let’s all be on our very best behavior here, and while we’re at it, I’d like to leave the big guy my list.

Here goes.

Dear Santa,

I hope this finds you, Mrs. Claus, the elves and reindeer all well. Did the pandemic make its way up to the North Pole? I surely hope not, but just in case it did – here’s hoping those immunization shots did, too (and hoping those 12-foot long swabs they stick up your nose for testing did not). Sorry! I know you’re busy so I’ll get to it.

I’ve tried hard to be good this year – but just between you and me, it’s been tough to hold back on those swear words. Santa, between the supply chain shortages, worker shortages and revenue shortages . . . well, about the only thing that wasn’t in shortage was foul language.

So I’m hoping you might be able to overlook that one.

If you have room in the sleigh, here’s my list.

1. Employees! Santa, I can’t recall a time when I have seen so many help wanted signs. Everyone is hiring, and every manager I talk to says the same thing – they can’t find help. Look, no offense here, but you have elves. I’m not sure you understand how frustrating this is. So anything you might be able to do on this would sure be appreciated.

2. Answers. No disrespect to anyone anywhere Santa, but what the hell, uh, I mean heck, are we supposed to believe when it comes to the coronavirus. Do we require everyone to get a shot? Do we not? Do masks work? Do they not? Is there a mandate for this? Is there not? And when I turn on the TV to get an answer, it depends entirely on what channel I’m watching. Heck Santa, I even asked two doctors I know and got opposite answers. All I really know is this – I trust you. If you tell me the scoop, I’ll believe you!

3. Customers! I guess this is a little like the first two. Folks can’t find help or answers they trust so it hurts their business and that means they don’t want to spend more money. What’s a good business to do?

4. Less government help. No sir, I don’t mean local, I mean the big boys. For us small businesses, life is hard enough. Don’t make us pay more in taxes, or follow more rules and regulations. Get out of our way and let us do our jobs. I’m not the smartest guy in the room, but I’m pretty sure the free market will weed out the ones who don’t do it right.

5. And lastly, and this might be the hardest. But Santa, every small business owner I know wants this – needs this actually. And if you could see your way into laying that finger aside your nose and doing something for them, they sure would appreciate it. And I’d like to ask you for a lot of these, but I’m guessing after the trials and tribulations of the last year, they would all settle for one. You see

Santa, if you could, how about letting all the small business owners get one good night’s sleep without interruption.

Thanks for listening Santa! I’ll leave the cookies and milk in the usual spot!


Next week: New Year’s resolutions

Business Playbook is written by Tim Timmons. Timmons’ book, Coaching Success: Creating Champions for the Business World is available at